How can we boost business in Rugby town centre?

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AS RUGBY town centre loses £80m a year from shoppers going elsewhere, we asked why people at out-of-town retail parks have turned their backs on the high street.

Bill Bridges of Manor Road, Kilsby, said: “It is a question of choice and there just isn’t that much choice in the town, there’s far too many charity shops and too many coffee shops.”

Dee Scott, from Lawford Heath, said: “I don’t like going to the town centre because it is much easier to find disabled parking at retail parks. It’s difficult to find quality perfume here though, it just needs a big department store and there’d be everything.”

Sam Higginson from Woolscott said; “I’d want to see more brand names in Rugby and more good clothes shops, I usually go to Leamington for shops like River Island.”

Nigel Famer who moved to Leicester from Hillmorton last year, said: “I don’t like shopping in Leicester because of the traffic but I don’t want to pay to park in Rugby just to pick up a few things. If I come here I can find a parking space easily whatever the time of day and it doesn’t cost me anything.”

Virginia Fawdrey of Hillmorton Road, said “I think that the town centre will get better but at the moment Marks and Spencer holds it all together, it really needs a big name department store.”

Sue Balcombe from Cawston said: “Since the relief road was built it’s so much easier for me to get here. There isn’t really anywhere to buy furnishings in Rugby though so I go online for those. I do feel a little guilty for not using the town centre as there’s some nice independent shops.”

James Hodds, who owns a photography business on Railway Terrace, said; “It is looking a bit tired but the town centre will always survive. There’s so many characters around the town centre you don’t come across in retail parks everone here is always is in a rush.”

Vicky Aubrey of Blackwood Avenue said: “Rugby town centre is dying since Asda opened and there’s so many charity shops now. A Primark is exactly what Rugby needs.”

Mary Murray from New Street, she said: “We are spoilt for choice when it comes to food shopping, but Rugby really needs more clothes shops. I go to Coventry or Birmingham every few months.

Rob Hughes of Jubilee Street, said: “I can see the town centre closing altogether and becoming a residential area or maybe just bars and restaurants instead. If the parking was free it would help attract shoppers.”